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Direct and indirect object

Every sentence has a primary structure, in order to communicate something: subject, verb, and object.

In this page, we're going to learn what types of objects exist. For that, we need to remember what an object is:

 An object is a person or thing involved in the action indicated in the sentence.

There are two types of objects:

Direct object 

This indicates the sentence's object: the person or thing involved in the action and a response to what or who questions. 

  •  What does Lucas kick?
Example of direct object.

Let's answer the following questions to better understand the example above:

  • Who is the sentence´s subject?: Lucas.
  • What is he doing?: He is kicking something.
  • What does he kick?: He kicks a ball.

In this order of ideas, ball  is the direct object because it is receiving the action. 

Indirect object 

The other type of object is the recipient of the direct object. It answers the questions to whomfor whom, or for what. For example:

Example of indirect object.

Let's repeat the last exercise:

  • Who's the subject?: Marcy
  • What action did Marcy do?: She "gave" something. 
  • What did she give?: A painting 

At this point, we know that the object is the painting.

  • To whom does she give the painting?: To her mother. 

By answering to whom, we understand that her mother is the indirect object. It is the recipient of the direct object.

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